Mumbai : Both FC Goa and Hyderabad FC furthered their unbeaten runs thanks to a 1-1 draw today at the SAG Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. Hyderabad took the lead in the 54th minute but saw their joy cut short eight minutes later as Airam Cabrera delivered his second of the season, helping the Gaurs to a point.
Juan Ferrando was forced into making a change to the line-up that brought him success in the last two games as injury forced Glan Martins out from the starting XI. Princeton Rebello came into the side in place of the Indian international.
On the other hand, Monolo Marquez made one change to the line-up as well with Joel Chianese featuring in the starting eleven.
Goa started strong. Some good movement and passes helped the Gaurs to open up the Hyderabad defence in the 4th minute as Mohamed Ali propped up on the right to put in a fierce low cross. Kattimani was equal to the task to clear the initial attempt. Whilst Saviour Gama did well to get first to the rebound, his first-time shot was blocked from close range.
The Nizams started growing into the game and had their first attempt on goal in the 12th minute as their talisman Bartholomew Ogbeche found space in the box. His shot, though, was blocked from close range by Ivan Gonzalez.
The Gaurs did well to get the ball into the back of the net in the 44th minute when Airam Cabrera bundled over Seriton Fernandes’ cross from the right. The Spaniard, though, was made to wait for his second of the season with the assistant referee flagging him offside.
By the time the half came to an end, the Gaurs had the lions’ share of the possession but had failed to strike a single shot on goal. Hyderabad, meanwhile, were reduced to snapshots.
Despite starting the second half strong, the Gaurs found themselves a goal behind in the 54th minute. A surge down the right by Nikhil Poojary ended with a cross to the back post which an unmarked Joel Chianese headed in with much glee.
Gaurs, though, showed grit to hit right back. A sumptuous ball from Alberto Noguera helped Devendra Murgaokar go past the backline and round off the onrushing Laxmikant Kattimani. The forward’s shot on goal came off the post. However, thankfully for FC Goa, the ricochet fell to the onrushing Airam Cabrera, who finally had his second of the campaign, rolling the ball into an empty net.
Similar to their last season’s script the Gaurs nearly snatched all points available in the dying minutes. Another brilliant move down the right saw Serition Fernandes cross the ball into a dangerous area. Whilst Noguera was able to get his shot on the volley and on the stretch on target, Kattimani was equal to the task as the former FC Goa man tipped it over brilliantly to help his side to a point.
The point sees FC Goa go upto 7th on the table thanks to their 7 points from the last three games. Hyderabad, meanwhile, moved up to 2nd place with 11 points from their 6.
The Gaurs will be back in action on December 24 when they take on Odisha FC. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 pm kick off.